Buying Church Media Assets: How to Convince “The Boss”
Aside from a few larger churches where everyone has a departmental budget, most church media teams need to convince their pastor to purchase any piece of gear or new media assets.
If you’ve been left with that role, you know the anxiety that comes before “the pitch.” He’s going to ask why you need it, how much it costs, probably stall for a second, and then ask you why you don’t consider a cheaper alternative (even though we both know you did extensive research and landed on this option because it was the best.) It’s a tough dance.
Buying Church Media Assets: Convincing Your Pastor
Remember – you and the pastor probably have the same goal: you want outstanding quality and impactful church services. At the end of the day, that remains the same. The only difference is the disagreement between what’s necessary to get there.
So, if you’re struggling with how to convince your pastor to invest in new church media assets, here are a few tips:
Recognize Pastors Care About Visuals
It’s easy to get carried away with describing what you want, why you want it, and how you could use it. Remember that most pastors care about visuals equally as much as you, and the best way to convince them may just be to show them.
Of course, there’s probably some differences in opinion between you and your pastor on what design looks best, so approach them with designs that you know will appeal to them. If you’re looking at a motion background provider like Motion Worship, show them stuff you know they will like – whether that’s more colorful, abstract, and upbeat motion backgrounds, or more traditional, slow, nature-based backgrounds.
Also, if you can find any free media from the provider you’re looking at, use that for sake of demonstration. Pastors care about visuals just like you. Don’t just describe what you need – show them if you can.
Do Your Research and Know Your Options
This is for a few reasons. For you, it is important that you don’t convince your pastor to purchase something you’ll regret in a year. If you’re going to upgrade, make sure you know it will last, perform the tasks you need, and become an essential piece of your workflow.
Chances are that your pastor will be skeptical of any purchase, not because they’re being frugal, but because they want to know that money put towards any aspect of your church is truly for the better. Best way to convince them? Actual evidence from research and the word of others.
Do your research on the gear and compile a list of exactly how you would implement it. If it’s a new projector, where and how will it be mounted? Does additional stuff need to be purchased to operate it? What are the specs of your existing projector vs. the new one, and how will that impact the quality?
But after doing initial research, seek out the word of others. Call local A/V companies or email them so you have their response written. Post on Facebook groups and online forums asking others.
If you have clear evidence from research as well as the word of industry experts backing your decision, it will be much more convincing to your pastor than you simply asking him for it. It gives him an opportunity to see the benefits the way you do. Give him a clear picture.
Connect it to The Mission
This isn’t just for convincing your pastor – this is a good question for you to be asking yourself. How will this new piece of gear or new subscription actually benefit your church’s mission?
As someone who works on creative teams in a church, my opinion is certainly that improved quality in worship and service production helps reach people. I’d assume your pastor believes the same thing.
Describe the visual or auditory difference the upgrade will make. How will it effect the experience for the congregation? Your pastor’s priority and heart is on improving the experience for attenders and furthering the mission of your church. If you can clearly connect a media asset purchase to the congregational experience, your pastor will be more interested in helping out with the purchase.
At the end of the day, it’s good to even remind ourselves that none of this is about us. While you may be excited about trying out a new media asset, we need to keep our eyes focused on the experience for congregation members. Does this help improve the experience for congregation members, and will it draw more people to the church to hear the Word of God?
When you think that way, you’ll better understand your pastor’s focus, which can help with talking to him/her about an upgrade or new purchase that needs to happen.
Also remember that your pastor cares about visuals, maybe even as much as you. Understand what their design preferences are and consider those when demonstrating what a new church media asset purchase may make!
About the Author
Chris Fleming is a professional musician from Minneapolis, MN who has played with artists such as Big Daddy Weave and Jason Gray. He is actively involved with the CCM worship scene and has contributed as a drummer, music director, song writer, and producer for various worship artists and churches locally and nationally. Chris serves as the Creative Director at Motion Worship, helping to write various blog posts and tutorials on production, stage, Ableton, music, design, and tons of other topics.